Packers Memo - Hail Mary Answered

The 27 - 23 win in the Lion's Den Thursday night may be the most important win the Green Bay Packers have all year.

It may be the most important if the team uses it as a launching point into the final four games and into the play-offs.

Otherwise, it was just a tease.  Like a 6 - 0 start and remarkable win in Minneapolis.

There were moments in the first half where I was reminded of the pre-Favre Packers when it seemed we couldn't block our way out of a paper bag.

Down 17 - 0 at the end of the first half was disheartening.   Reliable Mason Crosby doinking a kick off the left upright instead of between them sure gave this fan the feeling it just wasn't happening... again.

The first quarter was the worst as offense and defense seemed dazed and confused.  Interestingly, Aaron's first half interception seemed to wake the team out of its lethargy.  The defense knuckled down and really controlled the Lions for the remainder of the game, and the offense took some halting steps of progress.

Three games in twelve days is a grind.  The first two of the trio came with only 3 days between and one week later both Detroit and Green Bay were on the field again.

The offensive line has been consistent all year with nicked up starters getting themselves ready to answer the call.  So, it was a shock when the right guard and right tackle needed the night off to get better.  Early in the second quarter the starting center's injuries caught up and forced him to the sideline.

In the second half, the starting left tackle was hurt as an old injury was aggravated.  Somehow the trainers and David Bakhtiari's determination had him on the field for the next series.  The Packers only have four back-up linemen, so this is a big deal.  Especially when you consider their job is to protect Aaron Rodgers and open running lanes.

I suspect that was part of the almost non-existing running game Thursday night.  Falling behind 17 and then 20 to nothing will also kill the run attack.

Jim Nance and Phil Simms, calling the game on CBS and the NFL networks, didn't see a comeback in the works.

It came slowly and methodically.  A Packer fumble near the Lions goal line recovered in the end zone for their first score.   A strip sack by veteran Julius Peppers led to a quick score on a pass from Aaron Rodgers to Davante Adams to close to 20 - 14.

Detroit responded to the score with a field goal.  That took some air out of the come back, but a touchdown would have been a dagger.

Trailing 23 - 14, an 84 yard drive was finished with Aaron running the ball in from 16 yards out.

23 - 21, Detroit.

When the defense couldn't close the Lions out in three plays, the Packers were out of times out and had only 23 seconds to reach field goal range from their own 21 yard line.

Dim hopes, to be sure, but a fan believes.

Two in-complete passes (the second looked like interference, but you won't get every call) made it 3rd down and 6 seconds left.   Rodgers found James Jones who lateraled back to Richard Rodgers who threw backwards to Aaron who was tackled with zeros on the clock.

But there was fabric on the field!

A 15 yard penalty gave the Packers one play from their 39 yard line.  Too far for a field goal and a long way for a pass.

The o-line created some space and Aaron moved around so the receivers could make their way to the goal line.   Rodgers wheeled to his right and picked up momentum before launching a high arcing pass that seemed to hang forever.

It was in the air so long, Richard Rodgers can be seen turning all the way around then finding the ball in the air again before getting into position.

The ball lands in Richard Rodgers (no relation, both did go to the University of California) large hands.  He secured the ball and brought to his chest before falling to the turf.

TOUCHDOWN!

"YES!  YES! YES!" could be heard coming from my living room as I flung my Packer's hat to the floor in celebration.  (My apologies to any neighbors I may have woke up.)

The team and us fans can rest and recover.  There is a 10 game break before Dallas rides into Titletown.

For this win to really count, we (I'm an owner/shareholder, that's why I say "we") need to get 2 in a row and keep on stacking up victories.  GO PACK!